Steps to Lower Turnover

4 Simple Steps to Lower Employee Turnover

By George Dickson on June 03, 2015

Employee turnover is one of the most misunderstood and underestimated cost centers in modern business. Even a small amount of attrition in your workforce can be costly, yet many companies fail to recognize it as a high priority.

For some more background on the magnitude of that cost, check out our article, "Why Is Employee Turnover so Expensive?"

Armed with the understanding employee turnover's considerable cost to your business, the next logical step is to consider how you can eliminate, or at least limit the amount of turnover you're experiencing.

Luckily, there's often some very low hanging fruit here. These four steps are easy to take, and are a great start at lowering attrition in a meaningful way.

Measure It More Effectively

It's common to measure attrition rates, but it's important to understand that all attrition isn't equal.

How you measure employee turnover makes a difference.

There are a multitude of reasons people leave a job, and it's important not to lump all employee turnover into the same category. Yotpo's Tomer Tagrin posted a great piece on Medium about this. He outlines a formula to measure a useful company culture metric he calls 'e-churn.'

In addition to quantitative metrics, gathering qualitative data on employee turnover is crucial.

Determine the Causes

Good employees don't leave without good cause. Quitting a job is a big decision, and it's not one most people take lightly. When employees do leave, how confident are you in your knowledge of why they left?

If employees aren't given an opportunity to speak openly and candidly about their reasons for leaving, you're missing out on an important opportunity for improvement.

Inviting feedback in a safe, non-confrontational environment can surface priceless information about the work environment you're providing, and some key factors that may be contributing to employee turnover.

If you're squeamish about hearing hard truths regarding your company culture, don't be. There's a good chance you'll read about it on Glassdoor anyway.

Get in Front of It

Are you proactively soliciting feedback from employees before they leave?

It's infinitely easier to improve an employee's work experience than it is to try to convince them to stay in a company they've already decided to leave. Additionally, the changes you make to improve one employee's experience will likely have a far-reaching positive impact on others.

You can solicit feedback manually, but there are several effective tools available to help organizations gather that feedback in a low-overhead, and anonymous format.

TINYpulse, Officevibe, and CultureAmp are great examples of simple, but powerful tools you can use to gain a better understanding of your team.

Take Meaningful Action

The last and most important step is taking action.

Quality employees are an invaluable business asset. It's one thing to say you're dedicated to building a strong company culture, or go around saying "our employees are our greatest asset."

But are you genuinely following through on that rhetoric?

Show employees your dedication to providing a positive work environment.

Take visible steps toward building a great place to work.

Regularly reinforcing the value you place on your team's contributions and their happiness is one of the best ways to improve their experience at work. Implementing peer-to-peer recognition is a great way to crowd-source that positive feedback, and it's easy to do. Bonusly is a great tool for improving engagement and building a stronger work culture. You can try it for free.

You can transform your employee turnover rate from a source of anxiety to a source of pride  all it takes is a few steps in the right direction.

Written by George Dickson

George Dickson

George manages content and community at Bonusly. He's dedicated to strengthening organizational cultures through thoughtful leadership and frequent recognition.